Why don't I like to make New Year's Resolutions? Because they fire up my guilt-producing machine. You know, the one that OCD has fun with. I'm guilty because I don't budget my money (or because I don't budget it better). I'm guilty because I ate too much for supper (never mind that I was forever hungry all day until then, even though I kept eating). I'm guilty because...
Oh, really? Well, actually, I cleaned my apartment today. My sister from a few states away was visiting and we had our day together, or afternoon together. Which was lovely. And which inspired my house cleaning. I even made it all the way to cleaning out my car. I give myself gold stars for all that.
And the time with my sister? You know those times where you enjoy the moment, but keep having pangs of awareness that this is the last time you are going to be with someone you care about in person for several months? I mean, my other two sisters, who knows when I'll be with them in person next. But I still struggle with the one sister leaving for a few months. (To be fair, it isn't that easy to tell any sister good-bye for a long period of time.)
And while I'm being sad and sentimental, how about writing Christmas letters? I'd get stuck on my former toddler student's untimely death. One of the more notable moments in my year. But put it in a Christmas letter? "Hi, friends, here in my one official letter of the year, let me tell you it was great. At least the second half, when my psych meds were working at their best. [The first half of the year seems lost in a fog already, possibly partially related to the meds not working their best.] And then there was the time when my former student passed away at the advanced age of... two years." And there goes my desire to write a Christmas letter.
So when words fail, send pictures. I'm not kidding - this is a good trick if you are ever an overseas missionary. So I sent pictures. But then, even that seems a little strange, so some people got a scribbled note. The kind that has only a paragraph about my year, that doesn't mention the kid that got to heaven before me.
Wow, have I gotten off New Year's Resolutions. I guess I got busy wrapping up the old year. And saying goodbye to my sister.
Well, this new year is here. This year I hope to graduate with my Bachelor's degree in Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education. That's pretty exciting. And I expect to keep teaching one-year-olds, along with figuring out how hard it will be to pay on student loans while working a toddler teacher job. And I hope to keep my weight steady - hopefully I've finished gaining my medication-related pounds, or my later twenties pounds, or both, whatever it is. Only, sometimes I question that goal, because I don't like being hungry all the time. (And P.S., trust me, I'm not underweight.) So money management, weight management, and dishes management? Those sound pretty resolution-y to me. Only, the resolution term still rubs me wrong. So how about this. I have a few areas where I wish for guilt-free continued effort to be placed.
But I "resolve"... no, I still don't like that word. But I ... want to keep reminding myself that plain old living is important. You know, the going to bed, the waking up, the eating meals, the going to work, the little things that make up my life. The little things I've worked so hard to be able to continue to do. I hope the depression never makes another strong appearance (I could do without the weak appearances, too, but I think that is too unrealistic), but I am grateful for the appreciation it gave me for being able to live life and even kind of enjoy it.
Oh, I should probably make this sound spiritual or something. No, I probably want to add something to this appreciation of life statement. Like, "and I'm so, so glad that I'm living more easily now, and still with God's arms wrapped around me."
Now for the pictures, the ones on my Christmas/New Years cards.
Happy Holidays! And for those of you who don't like holidays, happy end to the holidays!